DocTours Newsletter January 2016
Hello and Happy New Year Everyone!
A final year medical student from Queensland spent two months with DocTours in Nepal late last year. He has shared his wonderful experiences with us below.
We hope to see you on a DocTours Volunteer program in 2016!
Dr. Sam’s introduction to Nepal
Over the months of October and November last year, I had the chance to spend four weeks working in Nepal as part of a DocTours Voluntary Program. While over there, I was hosted by the Timilia family who are the most beautiful people and you couldn’t ask for a better platform for exploring a new country. Their home is situated in Banepa, a small town 30km east of Kathmandu and the local hospital, an icon of Banepa, sat just behind their home positioned against the base of a mountain. When I landed in Kathmandu Airport, Bijuli and Sunita welcomed me with some local traditions and a cab ride home. My first impression could only be descried as ‘culture shock’… and that’s coming from someone who has experienced many parts of southeast Asia. Nepal is nothing like anything I have ever seen before. Read more here:
Dr. Sam explores the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal
My second weekend we went to Chitwan National Park, fully organised by our hosts. Chitwan was absolutely amazing! The jungle there includes just about every creature you could hope for; crocodiles, rhinos, elephants, leeches, wild pigs, tigers, leopards… the last two we didn’t actually see but that was probably for the best. After all we were just on foot (no jeeps) and our ‘protection’ was a bamboo stick. Good luck fending off a tiger with that! I was blown away by the elephant ride which I honestly was not that keen to do. The beauty of this elephant ride, unlike the last time I did it in Indonesia, is that it allowed us to walk within metres of animals like rhino and white-spotted deer without them knowing we were there. Incredible. Read more:
Dr. Sam visiting local schools
My last week was spent back at the hospital but with two days taken for school visits. We ran a medical clinic at one school where I saw 100 children in 5hrs – which is 20 students an hour or 1 student per 3 minutes… talk about fast consults! We set up a rather effective production line with Tessa taking vitals and doing weight and height followed by me examining the children. Lots of swimmers’ ear, tonsillitis and other simple conditions. A few of the children were quite unwell and we sent them straight to hospital. I’d say that my one day running the school clinic was probably the most useful thing I did in my time in Nepal. Our second day off was visiting a rural school to donate some equipment. Tessa had purchased a computer for them which I thought was such a clever gift. You realise when you’re there that the solution to so many issues lies in education and the exposure even to one shared computer could make a world of difference. The Rotary also donated funds to build ten new study tables/benches which were much needed. The old ones they were using were half broken. What really touched me was the appreciation we received from the school community. They held a ceremony and presented us with framed certificates (a feat, considering they don’t have a computer!) and provided us with an amazing lunch. It made me realise just significant our small contribution could be. Read more:
Our volunteers share their knowledge and experience with counterparts in developing countries and they often visit schools to undertake medical check-ups on the children and teach them about hygiene. Another valuable part of their volunteer work is taking donations of medical supplies, hygiene kits, clothing and stationery to help the local people live a better life. Thank you for your efforts and your participation!